|Tom Crean will lead his No. 3 Indiana squad against No. 1 Michigan Saturday night (bleacherreport.com)|
Poor Tom Crean. He is about to be a victim of horrible timing.
Crean's No. 3 Indiana team will host No. 1 Michigan in prime time Saturday night. It also happens to be the night before his wife's brothers, JIM AND JOHN HARBAUGH, face off as opposing coaches in the biggest single sporting event of the year; the Super Bowl. (Given how big of a storyline this is being played as, I felt it would be rude not to refer to the HARBAUGH BROTHERS in all caps.)
I can only imagine how many questions at his pregame interview will be about the HARBOUGHS. Which HARBOUGH does he like best? Who does he think will win (the Super Bowl, that is)? Who does his wife think will win? Will his wife even be at the game or will she be in New Orleans? Even if his team beats the No. 1 team in the country, it won't be the biggest story in his household this weekend.
But we'll get to that game later. First, here's some other matchups to keep an eye on this weekend.
No. 25 Marquette vs. No. 12 Louisville
In the past two weeks, Louisville has gone from "how can they be stopped" to "what the $*%# is going on" and a three-point win over Pitt at home Monday hasn't done much to ease those worries.
Especially since the Cardinals now face a Marquette team that looks to be finding its identity after a slow start to the season (they feel your pain, Gonzaga. Butler got the Golden Eagles on a buzzer-beater, too). Granted, the past five games haven't been the most challenging of the season, but going 4-1 with only a two-point loss to Cincinnati shows the team is playing some of its best ball.
This Louisville team is known for defense, but the offense will have to be present Saturday as the Cardinals need this win to get back on course.
No. 14 Miami vs. No. 19 NC State
This game is a get-together for the We Beat Duke Club. No one except Boston College (go figure) has gotten close to beating Miami recently and if you had Miami starting 7-0 in the ACC, well, I hope you were in Vegas for that pick because you, sir or ma'am, have a gift. Jim Larranaga has to be in the conversation for national coach of the year for what he's done with this program, and it's not the first time he's made this magic (2006 George Mason). Balanced scoring with four players in double figures each game has made the Hurricanes very dangerous as we look ahead to March.
NC State was thought to possibly be in Miami's position, but instead have been on a roller coaster in conference play; defeat Duke, lose to Wake Forest, beat UNC, lose the next one to Virginia. Make up your mind, Wolfpack! What team are you going to be? This matchup with the Hurricanes is followed by a rematch with Duke, so this is the perfect stretch for NC State to find some consistency, whichever way — winning or losing — that means.
The Big Show
No. 1 Michigan vs. No. 3 Indiana
The game of the week honor is a runaway favorite for Michigan vs. Indiana. College Gameday will be in one of the best college gyms in the country as the No. 1 team comes to town. And of course, we will hear the storyline that this is the first time Michigan has been No. 1 since the Fab Five in 1992, seeing as one of those five, Jalen Rose, is part of the Gameday crew.
The Big Ten is starting to break into a more natural hierarchy of teams, compared to the seven-teams-could-win-it-free-for-all the conference was at the beginning of January, and Michigan and Indiana have pushed their way to the top of the pyramid. Assembly Hall will be rockin' as these two very even teams square off in what will hopefully be a wire-to-wire battle. Both teams are 7-1 in the conference and sporting four-game winning streaks since suffering their only conference losses. Trey Burke and Cody Zeller are the headliners of big-talent and big-name squads ready for primetime. It just doesn't feel like there's any way this game is a letdown.